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Beattie promises goals for Rangers after win over Kilmarnock

Rangers 2 Kilmarnock 1: James Beattie has vowed to score goals in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League after claiming he can strike up an explosive partnership with Kenny Miller.

He was thrown straight into Rangers' SPL opener against Kilmarnock on Saturday just 24 hours after sealing his move from Stoke.

Lack of match sharpness was clearly a problem for the 32-year-old, who had been used sparingly by the English club following an altercation with boss Tony Pulis last December, but, after playing 80 minutes alongside Miller, Beattie insisted they can form a formidable pairing for the Scottish champions.

He said: “I've known Kenny for a while. He's good friends with Joleon Lescott, who I'm good friends with. I've watched him from time to time and I know he's a great player. I'm looking forward to playing up-front with him, even though it was a bit earlier than I expected to play.

“If you put two good players together, it's going to be a good partnership. I'm confident that I'll score goals wherever I play. It doesn't matter where it is.”

Boss Walter Smith turned to Beattie to bolster his depleted squad after Steven Davis returned from international duty with a virus and the striker was more than happy to answer the SOS.

Beattie added: “I found out I was playing about two hours beforehand.

“I didn't even know that Davo was ill, but I gathered that something was happening when the manager pulled me into the office because I knew I hadn't been here long enough to do anything wrong.

“Even before he started talking, I was going to say I would love to play.

“I've done the whole pre-season and I've not missed any days, but I haven't played — or been allowed to play — games against decent opposition.

“I'll work hard this week and do some stuff. I'm sure the fitness coaches have got something lined up for me this week, which I'm more than happy to do.

“You get your match sharpness from the games and hopefully I'll be able to retain my place and play on Sunday.”

Goals from Miller and Steven Naismith sealed the win, despite Jamie Hamill pulling a goal back from the penalty spot for Kilmarnock.

Beattie said: “We got the goal in the first-half and then maybe took our foot off the pedal, which is something I think the gaffer wants to address and stamp out of our performances.

“Likewise, we came out quite strongly in the second-half and got the second goal and then we allowed the opposition to get back into it straight away.”

Killie boss Mixu Paatelainen was pleased with the performance of his new-look side at Ibrox, but wants to make use of the remainder of the transfer window.

He said: “We are still looking to add one or two players and it's strikers we are after. We do have strikers who can do a job for us, but we want to strengthen that position.

“Hopefully we will be successful before the window closes, but it is tough considering the finances and players' availability.”

Belfast Telegraph


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